The Best Kofi Annan quotes

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Kofi Annan was a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006. He was born in Kumasi, Ghana, on April 8, 1938. Annan began his career as an administrative officer with the World Health Organization in Geneva. He later worked for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 1992, he became the head of peacekeeping operations for the UN.Annans tenure was marked by several achievements, including helping to bring about an end to the Rwandan genocide and working to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Discover the best Poverty, Peace, Time, Human Beings, International, Conflict, World, Security quotes from Kofi Annan, and much more.


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About Kofi Annan

birth of the author

8 April 1938

death of the author

18 August 2018

education of the author

Kumasi College Of Science And Technology, Macalester College, Graduate Institute Of International And Development Studies, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology


As I travel around the world, people think the only place where there is potential conflict [over] water is the Middle East, but they are completely wrong. We have the problem all over the world. — Kofi Annan

Democracy is, in essence, a form of non–violent conflict management. If war is the worst enemy of development, healthy and balanced development is the best form of conflict prevention. — Kofi Annan

The long–lasting humanitarian impact of these inhuman weapons continues to deny communities the opportunity to rebuild long after the end of the conflicts. — Kofi Annan

Poverty devastates families, communities and nations. It causes instability and political unrest and fuels conflict. — Kofi Annan

no war goes on forever Kofi Annan quote

From this vision of the role of the United Nations in the next century flow three key priorities for the future: eradicating poverty, preventing conflict and promoting democracy. — Kofi Annan

Sometimes when you take a tough action against one side in the conflict, they see you as part of the conflict and they attack you. — Kofi Annan

Fierce national competition over water resources has prompted fears that water issues contain the seeds of violent conflict. — Kofi Annan

Under international law, the responsibility for protecting civilians in conflict falls on the belligerents. Under military occupation, responsibility for the welfare of the population falls on the occupiers. — Kofi Annan

The number one goal in resolving a conflict is to make sure both sides maintain their self–esteem. You don’t hit a man on the head when you’ve got your fingers between his teeth. — Kofi Annan

The message should be clear, climate change must take its place along those threats like conflict, poverty. — Kofi Annan

No war goes on forever. — Kofi Annan

I think that my darkest moment was the Iraq war and the fact that we could not stop it. — Kofi Annan


In their greatest hour of need, the world failed the people of Rwanda. — Kofi Annan


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To build a more healthy, peaceful and equitable world the classrooms of the world have to be full of girls as well as boys. — Kofi Annan

in their greatest hour of need the world failed the people of rwanda Kofi Annan quote

Let us all reaffirm our commitment to improving the well–being of families throughout the world. — Kofi Annan

Invite politicians to dinner and let them tell the world how delicious it is. . . . They will proudly go around and say, ‘I ate crickets, I ate locusts, and they were delicious.’ — Kofi Annan

Tolerance, inter–cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected. — Kofi Annan

Usually, when you look around the world, people are killing each other, fighting over scarce resources. — Kofi Annan

We need to create a world that is equitable, that is stable and a world where we bear in mind the needs of others, and not only what we need immediately. We are all in the same boat. — Kofi Annan

the world is not ours to keep we hold it in trust for future generations Kofi Annan quote

The international community… allows nearly 3 billion people–almost half of all humanity–to subsist on $2 or less a day in a world of unprecedented wealth. — Kofi Annan

If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever. — Kofi Annan

The World is not ours to keep. We hold it in trust for future generations. — Kofi Annan

In an era of globalisation, AIESEC’s programmes have helped young people around the world to develop a broader understanding of cultural socio–economic and business management issues. — Kofi Annan

Let us, above all, be clear that, without a convincing program of debt relief to start the new millennium, our objective of halving world poverty by 2015 will be only a pipe dream. — Kofi Annan

There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. — Kofi Annan

In a world of plenty, continued suffering is a terrible stain on our conscience. It is inexcusable that we not strive, with every resource at our disposal, to eliminate suffering. — Kofi Annan

In an era of global abundance, our world has the resources to reduce dramatically the massive divides that persist between rich and poor, if only those resources can be unleashed in the service of all peoples. — Kofi Annan

I often quote an African proverb that says: ‘The world is not ours, the earth is not ours, It’s a treasure we hold in trust for future generations.’ And I often hope we will be worthy of that trust. — Kofi Annan

Open markets offer the only realistic hope of pulling billions of people in developing countries out of abject poverty, while sustaining prosperity in the industrialized world. — Kofi Annan

We shall not defeat any of the infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation, and basic health care. — Kofi Annan

I think the world has moved on. — Kofi Annan

Yehudi Menuhin was a citizen of the world in the fullest sense–one whose vision and culture gave him a deep empathy with fellow human beings of every creed and color. — Kofi Annan


Peace is never a perfect achievement. — Kofi Annan

Education is, quite simply, peace–building by another name. It is the most effective form of defense spending there is. — Kofi Annan

peace is never a perfect achievement Kofi Annan quote

We must restore the sacredness of the family as a bedrock of humane values everywhere, in peace as well as in war. — Kofi Annan

Many African leaders refuse to send their troops on peace keeping missions abroad because they probably need their armies to intimidate their own populations. — Kofi Annan

Sadly, a prize for peace is a rarity in this world. Most nations have monuments or memorials to war, bronze salutations to heroic battles, archways of triumph. But peace has no parade, no pantheon of victory. — Kofi Annan

I don’t see a situation where one side will win militarily, take over Syria, and there will be peace and quiet, a clean victory. — Kofi Annan

On this International Day of Peace, let us all honor those who have suffered from violence. Let us hold in our hearts the ideal of peace. — Kofi Annan

Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. — Kofi Annan


To educate girls is to reduce poverty. — Kofi Annan

All our efforts to defeat poverty and pursue sustainable development will be in vain if environmental degradation and natural resource depletion continue unabated. — Kofi Annan

A hungry mind is not free, and I felt if we were really going to make a difference and fight poverty we should at least start with the ability to feed ourselves, and the millions of Africans who don’t have it. — Kofi Annan

Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance. — Kofi Annan

to educate girls is to reduce poverty Kofi Annan quote

If we are to make poverty history, we must have the active participation of States, civil society and the private sector, as well as individual volunteers. — Kofi Annan


Microfinance is an idea whose time has come. — Kofi Annan

It’s always a difficult time to be secretary general. — Kofi Annan

No one is born a good citizen or a good democrat or a good leader; it takes time and education. — Kofi Annan

Redundant Thematics

In Kofi Annan Statements


Children are our future and if we use them in battle, we are destroying the future. We must reclaim them, every one of them, one at a time. — Kofi Annan

microfinance is an idea whose time has come Kofi Annan quote

I hope we do not see another Iraq–type operation for a long time–without UN approval and much broader support from the international community. — Kofi Annan

When economic conditions are difficult, people tend to be less generous and protect themselves; the question of solidarity doesn’t mean much to them at that time. — Kofi Annan

Time and again, when member states and the governments are faced with an insoluble problem, and they’re under pressure to do something, that something usually ends up being referred to the U.N. — Kofi Annan

Education is the great equalizer of our time. It gives hope to the hopeless and creates chances for those without. — Kofi Annan

I think the US and UK thought if they gave a bit more time to Israel, they would crush Hezbollah. But it became very obvious that was an unwinnable war. — Kofi Annan

Most people forget that even in Iraq, by the time the air and no–fly zone was established, the air defence system had been removed through the first Gulf war. All of them had been neutralised. — Kofi Annan

We cannot wait for governments to do it all. Globalization operates on Internet time. Governments tend to be slow moving by nature, because they have to build political support for every step. — Kofi Annan

One has to have the strength of character to say the time has come to move on… unless you are a king. — Kofi Annan

Each crisis is different, has its own specificities, and we need to look at it critically; look at each one in its own terms. — Kofi Annan


Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere. — Kofi Annan

extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere Kofi Annan quote

Hiv/aids has become much more than a health issue. Hiv/aids is a development issue, it’s a security issue. — Kofi Annan

To go to war without the Security Council will not be in conformity with the Council. — Kofi Annan

Iraq has a new opportunity to comply with all these relevant resolutions of the Security Council. — Kofi Annan

We will not enjoy security without development, we will not enjoy development without security, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights. — Kofi Annan

We are not only all responsible for each other’s security. We are also, in some measure, responsible for each other’s welfare. — Kofi Annan

A nation has the right to defend itself, but when it comes to the broader issue of peace and security, the legitimacy rests only with the Security Council. — Kofi Annan

The future of peace and prosperity that we seek for all the world’s peoples needs a foundation of tolerance, security, equality and justice. — Kofi Annan

Unless the Security Council is restored to its pre–eminent position as the sole source of legitimacy on the use of force, we are on a dangerous path to anarchy. — Kofi Annan

Let us continue to work together to develop and nurture in future generations a culture of human rights, to promote freedom, security and peace in all nations. — Kofi Annan

Often we mistake stability, in terms of security and economic activity, to mean a country is doing well. We forget the third and important pillar: rule of law and respect for human rights. — Kofi Annan


For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right. — Kofi Annan

Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore a basic human right. — Kofi Annan

Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential. — Kofi Annan

It is my aspiration that health finally will be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for. — Kofi Annan

Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development. — Kofi Annan

everyone everywhere literacy is along with education in general a basic human right Kofi Annan quote

We have to choose between a global market driven only by calculations of short–term profit, and one which has a human face. — Kofi Annan

We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race. — Kofi Annan

Professional accountants ] should be encouraging companies to enhance their green credentials by switching to renewables, and to respect core labor standards and human rights. — Kofi Annan

It is impossible to realize our goals while discriminating against half the human race. As study after study has taught us, there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. — Kofi Annan

Refugees] cannot be stopped, but they can and must be managed better, more humanely, protecting migrants’ human rights whilst accepting states’ rights to control their borders. — Kofi Annan

access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore a basic human right Kofi Annan quote

International law now grants rights to all human beings, not only to citizens. — Kofi Annan

The report [by a UN commission on Darfur] demonstrates beyond all doubt that the last two years have been little short of hell on earth for our fellow human beings in Darfur. — Kofi Annan

Let us work in partnerships between rich and poor to improve the opportunities of all human beings to build better lives. — Kofi Annan

You saw the traumas that people lived through, and wondered what it will take to move us as a human community, as humanity, to help in these dangerous situations. — Kofi Annan


Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date has been the Montreal Protocol. — Kofi Annan

What governments and people don’t realise is that sometimes the collective interest–the international interest–is also the national interest. — Kofi Annan

On this International Literacy Day, let us recall that literacy for all is an integral part of education for all, and that both are critical for achieving truly sustainable development for all. — Kofi Annan

These divisions in the international community–the Syrians bear quite a lot of the blame, but we have enabled it by the divisions between us. — Kofi Annan

Women themselves have the right to live in dignity, in freedom from want and freedom from fear. On this International Women’s Day, let us rededicate ourselves to making that a reality. — Kofi Annan

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